36 HPM 0416

HPM-04-APR-2016

SPECIALREPORT WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com A professional and thorough approach Andrew Clarke, heating category manager at Graham Plumbers’ Merchant, offers a practical guide to chemical water treatment as well as best practice advice... With Part L of the Building Regulations in 2005 and 2010 introducing the compulsory requirement for the use of chemical water treatments for traditional and renewable heating systems, 2013 updates more specifically stated: • Central heating systems should be thoroughly cleaned and flushed before installing a new boiler • During the final filling of the system, a chemical water treatment inhibitor meeting the boiler manufacturer’s specification or other appropriate standard should be added to the primary circuit to control corrosion and the formation of scale and sludge. European Legislation has also addressed the issue of energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions over an entire product lifecycle with the introduction of the Energy related Products Directive (ErP), the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations, on September 26 last year. As a part of this overall energy efficiency focus, manufacturers will recommend the use of water treatment chemicals within installation manuals. To help ensure your work is Part L compliant, Graham branches offer handy Boiler Replacement Packs, which include filters, chemicals and scale reducers from market leading brands. In addition, it is also worthwhile noting that if the homeowner does experience a system breakdown, boiler manufacturers often seek proof that the correct preventative measures were taken to protect the boiler after installation. If the problem is found to be caused by the lack of treatment then the boiler warranty could be invalidated and installers may face unhappy customers, sometimes even having to withstand the associated costs. ACHIEVE A PROFESSIONAL JOB WITH BEST PRACTICE IN MIND First of all, use the latest regulation updates as an opportunity to explain to customers how chemical water treatments will help to maintain the energy efficiency and life of their central heating system. Secondly, ensure you have a full complement of chemical water treatment products and devices in your toolkit for a professional job, including cleaners, inhibitors, scale reducers and filters. In addition, it may sound a bit obvious but always remember to follow the dosage specifications and user instructions to ensure full effectiveness is achieved. If you are installing a new boiler, make sure the heating system you are connecting to, whether old or new, is as clean as possible including the pipes and radiators. This will avoid limescale and sludge build-up as well as internal debris washing into the boiler and its heat exchanger, affecting performance and at worst causing a major breakdown. Powerflushing can be offered as an effective method to improve both energy efficiency and performance. Not doing so may cause problems down the line for both the installer and homeowner so it is worthwhile having the conversation. A full system clean removes sludge and debris and gets it ready to ensure the next stage, the dosing of an inhibitor, is effective. By using boiler manufacturer-endorsed brands that offer cleaning products to suit the type of work being done, you can trust the products to perform as required. PROTECTION IS KEY When the system is clean use a chemical inhibitor to protect against the damaging effects of corrosion and limescale, maintain energy 36 APRIL 2016 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY efficiency and extend the system’s life. This is because if left untreated, internal corrosion can cause sludge formation, leading to a reduction of water flow and reduced system efficiency. By treating the system water content with a chemical inhibitor, metal corrosion is minimised. The advice is to ensure that the inhibitor used is compatible with the metals and other materials present in the heating system, and that the product is BuildCert approved. BENEFIT FROM TEST KITS Cleaned and protected, make sure that the concentration of inhibitor is checked and maintained, ideally at annual boiler service time. A simple and economical inhibitor test kit will do this, confirming quickly, whether a system has been dosed correctly. When complete, attach the label, usually provided with the product, to the system to act as a record of which product was used, in what concentration – and when and for the record, it is not advised to mix different chemical water treatment products. Full system check kits are also available for additional analysis. What to do in hard water areas Most inhibitors will also contain ingredients to prevent limescale formation but where mains hard water exceeds 200 ppm, it is important to chemically treat feedwater to water heaters and the hot water circuit of combination boilers with a scale reducer to ease the rate of limescale accumulation. SAFEGUARD THE BOILER BY USING A FILTER For ongoing protection of the boiler, installers can fit system filters that are designed to work alongside chemical water treatments and capture both magnetic and non-magnetic residual debris. BEST PRACTICE APPROACH BENEFITS INSTALLERS AND HOMEOWNERS Taking a professional and thorough approach to chemical water treatment will help protect installers from warranty disputes, unnecessary repair costs, and reputation damage - not to mention ensuring your customers recommend you. If you are installing a new boiler, make sure the heating system you are connecting to, including the pipes and radiators, is clean as possible enquiry number 127


HPM-04-APR-2016
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